Back on May 8 of 2001, when we decided that we Third Day fans needed a name, we went through all their songs to look for a name. We decided on “Gomers” from the song Gomer's Theme on Third Day's album Conspiracy #5. Gomer is a catchy name, but what does it mean?
Gomer of the Bible
Gomer was the wife of the Old Testament prophet Hosea. She was a harlot,and God told Hosea to marry her. God wanted to use the marriage of Hosea as a model of His love for His unfaithful people, Israel.
After giving birth to three children, Gomer left Hosea and went back to being a harlot. She thought that her former life, with men giving her nice things and wanting to be with her, was better than her present life as a wife and mother. She didn’t realize how wonderful her life with Hosea was.
At this time, the children of Israel were also playing the harlot, putting other gods before the One True God. God left them to their sin, to follow their own desires, for a while.
After about three years of living in sin, Gomer hit rock bottom. (This is comparable to the situation the Prodigal Son in Luke 15 found himself in before he decided to go back to his father.) God asked Hosea if he loved Gomer still. Hosea said that he really did. God told Hosea to go get Gomer and bring her back home. He told Hosea to forgive her, clean her up, and make her as his own again. This was to show Israel how God loved them enough to do the same for them. Don’t forget, this was during a time in which men didn’t forgive women they found in adultery; they stoned them!
Hosea is a model of God. Just as Hosea had to literally buy his own wife from the slave trader, God had to buy His own children back with the blood of His Son.
I think we sometimes forget that God, Himself, paid so much for us. We think of the price Jesus paid, but do you think it was any easier for God to watch His only Son die such a horrible death, when He could have stopped it? Could you imagine standing by and letting someone kill your only child? What if you had the power to stop it, but decided that it was best for the killer's eternal soul to do nothing. That is a price not one of us could ever stand to pay!
Read the book of Hosea in the Bible. It is very romantic, especially 2:14, 2:16, and 3:1-3. But when you read it, don't think of it as being about Hosea and Gomer, or even as being about the people of Israel. Think of it as being about your own life, and how God comes after you when you stray. It is a wonderful picture of how very deep God's love for you is, even when you don’t deserve it
The Definition of Gomer
Gomer means complete (Strong’s #01586). The root word is gamar, (Strong’s # 01584) and it is a verb. In addition to complete, gamar means to perfect or to finish. I love the use of this word in Psalm 138:8. It says that the Lord will not leave us in the lurch. He has a plan for our lives, and He will finish what He has started.
The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands.
In the Old Testament, people had prophetic names, names that said something about their destiny. Gomer finally realized that she was complete in Hosea, just as we know that God completes us. We are not whole without Him. Being complete and perfect are great things to aspire to, hence, I think it adds to our reasons for wanting to be called Gomers.
Here is a deeper explanation. It is from a thread on the Third Day message boards entitled
What about the Real Gomer, in which the question was asked:
"I have a question about Gomer: I see where you all are coming from about being a type of "Gomer", but did the real Gomer ever repent of what she did?? I know she finally stayed home (age probably started to catch up w/her!) but was she truly repentant?"
Here is my answer:
I believe that Gomer wanted to go back, and that she repented for leaving in the first place. If not, then the comparison with Israel is not accurate and the book of Hosea would be pointless.
Hosea 3:5 says, “Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the Lord their God and David their king. They shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days”. So if Israel came back willingly (And from reading all the chapters, I see they did not come back quickly. They had plenty of time to consider the matter.) then Gomer came back willingly. If Gomer was forced to come back, then Israel would not have listened to Hosea. They would not have wanted to be dragged back to God, kicking and screaming. And God would only have accepted Israel back if they indeed desired to come back, then Hosea could only have taken Gomer back if she wanted to come back. Everything had to be the same, otherwise the comparison, and thus the concept of the whole book of Hosea, is null and void.
I don't think God would have left Hosea in pain and loneliness. God was the one who set up this marriage, and Hosea was obedient. I think God would have blessed him with a happy family, and a wife who (finally) loved him.
When Hosea brought Gomer back, he took her on a sort of honeymoon into the wilderness. My Bible commentary says in Hosea 2:14 when it says "Therefore, behold, I will allure her, will bring her into the wilderness and speak comfort to her (to her heart)." that the wilderness was not a place of punishment, but a place of privacy, where Hosea and Gomer could be alone. And it says, "She shall sing there, as in the days of her youth." (v. 15) so she must have been happy during that time in the wilderness.
Verse 16 says, “ ”And it shall be in that day,” says the Lord, “that you will call Me 'My Husband' and no longer call me 'My Master.' " " This shows a new relationship, one of love and not simply ownership. Now I know that this is God talking about Israel, but God is also telling Hosea how to bring his wife back. (Reread this verse, but imagine that God, the creator of the universe, is saying this to you! Because He is saying it to you. How awesome is the love of God!)
In chapter two, God is telling Hosea how He will bring Israel back and how He will show them His love for them. Then in 3:1 it says, "Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go again, love a woman who is loved by a lover and is committing adultery, just like the love of the Lord for the children of Israel, who look to other gods and love the raisin cakes of the pagans.’" So, in essence, God was telling Hosea what to do to make his wife want to come back, and how to love her as she needed to be loved.
Also, there is her name, that as we know, means "complete". People's names in the Bible described who they were. Often God gave people, or their parents for them, the names He wanted them to be called by, so that they would have the meaning that God wanted them to proclaim. Gomer's name had to be a meaning that God wanted to show in her life as a model of Israel. There is no way that she could be considered "complete" if she did not want to be with Hosea, or if she was looking for a way to run away again the first chance she got. "Complete" means whole, thorough, having all parts; she had to be complete in her heart, mind, and body. And although she did not know it at first, Hosea's love was what brought completion to Gomer's life, what made her whole. And since Hosea was a prophet of God, coming back to Hosea also meant that Gomer was coming back to Hosea’s God, which would further complete and perfect her life.
That was what God wanted the children of Israel to see, that just as Hosea made Gomer complete, Israel needed God to complete or gamar them.
When I read the book of Hosea, I don't see a woman that was forced to come back to a husband and lifestyle she hated, but rather a woman that was brought back with more love than she probably thought she deserved. Maybe when she went back to Hosea she became the best wife in history, we don’t know. But certainly she realized that she was right where she needed and wanted to be. She was complete.
My Personal Observances
I feel sorry for Gomer. She has been known for centuries for her “before.” No one ever talks about her “after.” God's and Hosea's forgiveness of her mean nothing in the eyes of history. She is still remembered as the harlot. I am glad my life will not be remembered for the mistakes I made that Christ has forgiven. That is not how she should be remembered either. She should be remembered as the woman who was a sinner, but was forgiven and taken back with loving arms, as were we all. Gomer means complete: forgiven and loved, not harlot or one who is forever in sin and unforgiveness.
When we say we are Gomers, it means we are forgiven and loved, completed and perfected in the love of our Father. Redeemed by the blood of Jesus. It does not mean that we are harlots! We are not remembering the old sins, but the perfect love of God and His grace. Even if it weren't for Third Day, I would be proud to be called Gomer.